Chetwynd

Feature Type:District Municipality (1) - A populated place with legally defined boundaries, incorporated as a district municipality under the provincial Municipal Act.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: SE of Hudson's Hope (municipality), between Pine Pass and Dawson Creek, Peace River Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 55°41'45''N, 121°38'18''W at the approximate location of the Municipal Hall.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 93P/12

Origin Notes and History:

Little Prairie (Post Office) adopted 1 December 1949 on 93 P/NW. Name changed to Chetwynd (Post Office) 4 June 1959 on 93P/NW. Incorporated as Village of Chetwynd effective 25 September 1962; Chetwynd (Village) confirmed 15 February 1983 on 93P/12. Re-incorporated as a District Municipality 31 May 1983, to be called District of Chetwynd; Chetwynd (District Municipality) confirmed 15 June 1983 on 93P/12. Significant boundary extension effective 4 December 1996.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Little Prairie Post Office was opened 8 April 1923, "Little Prairie" being a translation of the traditional [Cree?] name of the area. Little Prairie Post Office relocated from Lot 494 on the north side of the Commotion Creek-Dawson Creek road, to Lot 398 Sec 26, Tp 77, R 24, W6M, on the south side of the road, 10 August 1949; renamed Chetwynd Post Office 2 July 1959 after the Honourable Ralph L.T. Chetwynd, Minister of Railways and one-time director of Pacific Great Eastern Railway, who had died in 1957.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

After Ralph Chetwynd, former Minister of Railways for British Columbia. Born in Staffordshire, England 28 July 1890. Public relations officer for PGE, 1942-52. Elected to provincial legislature in 1952 as a member for Cariboo. Minister of Railways, 1952-56. Died at Victoria 3 April 1957. The Premier announced 24 July 1957 that the Little Prairie PGE station, located 1 mile east of Little Prairie Post Office at the junction of Fort St. John and Dawson Creek railway lines, was renamed Chetwynd. Post office officials confirmed 23 October 1957 that their facility was still called Little Prairie. Post office officials advised 16 April 1959 that the majority of patrons now favoured a name change, and future plans included incorporating the village as Chetwynd.

Source: Provincial Archives of BC "Place Names File" compiled 1945-1950 by A.G. Harvey from various sources, with subsequent additions